Safe from the battlefields of Europe and Asia, the United States led the post-World War II global economic recovery through international assistance and foreign direct investment. With an ardent decolonization agenda and a postwar legitimacy, the United States attempted to construct a world characterized by cooperation. When American optimism clashed with Soviet expansionism, the United States started on a path to global hegemony.
In US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy, the authors analyze the strategic underpinnings of hegemony, assess the national security establishment that sustains dominance, consider the impact on civil-military relations, and explore the intertwining relationships between foreign policy, defense strategy, and commercial activities. Eschewing conventional analyses, the volume not only identifies drivers and continuities in foreign policy, but it also examines how the legacy of the last sixty-five years will influence future national security policy that will be characterized by US leadership in an increasingly competitive world.
From civil-military relations to finance, and from competing visions of how America should make war to its philosophy of securing peace through reconstruction and reconciliation, US Foreign Policy and Defense Strategy offers unique insights into the links between military and commercial power as it charts the rise of a historical rarity: the incidental superpower. This accessibly written book is suitable for students and general readers as well as scholars.